Favorite Books of 2020

To no one’s surprise, 2020 was an incredible year for reading and books! I was home more than I ever thought possible, and reading has always been a little escape and enjoyable outlet for me. When the news was too much or my mind wouldn’t stop wandering, I turned to books – an ever-present solace and happy place for me. I managed to read 70+ books this year, and goodness, were there some truly exceptional books that I read. It’s always hard to narrow down my very favorites from the year, as there are so many great books out there! My library queue is already full of books that I want to read in 2021, and here’s a look back at some 2020 reads:

my top 5 favorite books of 2020:

Other wonderful, notable books from 2020 that I loved:

  • The Scent Keeper
  • Just Mercy
  • I’m Still Here
  • The Long Petal of the Sea
  • The Vanishing Half
  • Transcendent Kingdom
  • The Evening and the Morning
  • All Adults Here
  • A Good Neighborhood
  • In Five Years
  • The Gown
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • The Huntress
  • The Henna Artist
  • Americanah
  • Lost Roses
  • When Less Becomes More
  • Such a Fun Age
  • Evie Drake Starts Over
  • Big Summer
  • Building a Story Brand
  • None Like Him
  • Nobody Will Tell You This But Me
  • The Mothers
  • The Searcher
  • The Witch Elm
  • Tender at the Bone
  • Circling the Sun

I would highly, highly recommend any and all of the above books and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. And can I also give a quick shout-out to the library, even in the midst of a pandemic?! Y’all, I’ve loved the library since I was a little girl (I’ve been an avid reader and library-lover my entire life), and I can’t sing the praises of the public library enough. The online Libby app was such a lifesaver for many months this year when everything was shut down. The fact that you can digitally check out and download books – for free! – was such a gift. Our library opened back up a couple months ago for contactless curbside pickups, and it’s also been so wonderful to have actual books back in my hands (my much preferred method of reading). The library has pivoted and adapted so well. I’ve checked out almost countless books in my lifetime, and there’s such a happy feeling that washes over me the moment I pick up a new book from the library. Free books at your fingertips? Yes, please! If you don’t have a local library card or if you rarely use yours, please do yourself a favor and use it regularly!

One of my other favorite little moments of this year has been sharing my collection of books with friends! It’s like my own little lending library… curating the perfect set of books for dear friends to borrow (especially when the library was closed), pick up from our front porch, and enjoy at their leisure. Such a treat to share and swap books in a safe way!

I’d love to hear: what’s the book that stands out to you most from this past year? Which book was your very favorite recent read? I’d really love to know!

Looking for more on books?! You can read a ton more previous blog posts of mine about books: my favorite books of 2019, my favorite books ever, all things bookslet’s talk about booksbest books of 2014best books of 2013the South’s best books and authors, and plenty more in my blog’s archives!

Affiliate links are used in this post – but can’t sing the praises of shopping from smaller, independent bookstores enough!

13 thoughts on “Favorite Books of 2020

  1. When Stephanie was 11 she called me and asked me what my favorite book was! I told her GONE WITH WIND and she replied “I just finished it!!!!!” We had quite a conversation after that! ❤️💙GRANDMA PEGGI SCHOLL. I have always loved to read!!!

    1. I love you and your stories so much, Grandma!! And I love, love, love that we share a beloved book: Gone With the Wind is far and away one of my favorite books ever! I definitely get my love of reading from you!! xoxox

  2. Hi Stephanie! We have similar tastes in books, so I’m interested to hear your thoughts on The Book of Longings. I’m struggling with whether or not to read this book as a Christian. While I know it’s fiction, I’m not sure if I can separate that from the reality that Jesus didn’t have a wife! I know you’re also a Christian and loved this book; what are your thoughts on that?
    Also, do you have a Goodreads we can follow? Thanks!

    1. Hi Savannah! That’s such a good question, and I’m so glad you asked!! Sue Monk Kidd is one of my favorite authors, and I was so excited to hear she had a new book coming out… and with such a fascinating (and controversial!) topic! I am pretty open to what I read, especially if it sounds interesting to me, and it doesn’t both me too much to read a fiction book based on/around Jesus’ life. The Dan Brown books are also some of my favorites, and I love them for what they are – fascinating, engrossing, interesting, and exciting books that make me think and wonder… but don’t actually question or call into doubt my faith or beliefs. The same is true for The Book of Longings! I thought it was beautifully written, such an interesting topic and point of view, and all along, I kept it in the back of my mind that it was a fiction read and not Truth. I really loved the historical context, learning even more about life in those times, reading a glimpse into what life (may have been!) like, and thinking about Jesus from a completely different perspective. And the novel really focused SO much more on Ana and her life (and that of a woman) than it did on Jesus, which was so intriguing in its own right. All that to say, I really loved the beauty and the depth of The Book of Longings and enjoyed it immensely! I think it only added, in some way, to my faith and was so thought provoking.
      I don’t have a Goodreads (I looked at it once years ago but didn’t love it!), but since I’ve had so many requests lately for me to start one… I’m looking into it!!
      Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, Savannah!

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